BANGOR, Maine — The University of Maine women’s basketball team has demonstrated a variety of ways to win games recently.

On Sunday afternoon, the Black Bears had the opportunity to practice maintaining the upper hand after building a substantial lead.

UMaine did so successfully, manufacturing a 22-point second-half bulge then milking it for the last 11-plus minutes to secure a 65-46 victory over Harvard at the Cross Insurance Center.

The Black Bears improved to 5-3 with their fourth win in a row and on Monday began preparations for Wednesday’s 7 p.m. nonconference home contest against Dartmouth.

Coach Richard Barron emphasized the need to execute well in order to keep a lead and made sure to point out any shortcomings as they tried to protect the advantage.

“We’re not used to playing with the lead, the lead-protection sort of game, and I was really upset with some of the decision-making we had out there,” Barron said, “because in a closer game or later in the season, those are things we have to learn.”

Harvard (4-4) attempted to make a final push, but was unable to make up much ground down the stretch. UMaine scored 10 of its last 12 points from the foul line.

“I’m glad we got that experience so that we can watch it on film and understand better what it is we need to do to protect the lead later in the game,” Barron added.

Sunday’s game was a stark contrast to Wednesday’s effort at Central Connecticut, where the Black Bears spotted the Blue Devils a 17-point first-half lead, then dominated the rest of the way to post a 72-58 win.

UMaine continues to play cohesive defense. Harvard’s 46 points were the fewest allowed this season by the Black Bears, who over their last five games have given up an average of 56 points while going 4-1.

Opponents are shooting 40 percent overall but only 32 percent from the 3-point arc during that same stretch.

UMaine again relied heavily on its 2-3 matchup zone against the Crimson. The Bears effectively clogged up the middle and also applied good pressure at the top of the key and on the wings to cause problem for Harvard’s guards.

It also was conducive to a solid rebounding performance, although the Crimson came away with a 34-30 edge.

“That was a big key to the game was how were we going to keep them off the boards and we did well with that in the zone. The zone was very effective,” Barron offered.

Huard’s hall induction Tuesday

Former University of Maine football star John Huard is among 16 men who will be inducted Tuesday into the National Football Foundation College Football Hall of Fame.

The Waterville native was a two-time Little All-America selection at linebacker for UMaine, where he was a member of the Black Bears’ 1965 Tangerine Bowl team. Huard went on to play for the Denver Broncos and the New Orleans Saints.

He later was the head coach at Acadia University, Maine Maritime Academy in Castine and with the Canadian Football League’s Toronto Argonauts.

Among the others to be enshrined are South Carolina’s Sterling Sharpe, LaDainian Tomlinson of Texas Christian and longtime Appalachian State coach Jerry Moore.

A live videostream of Tuesday’s dinner ceremonies in New York will be available from 8 to 10:30 p.m. at

UMaine offers ticket deal

UMaine athletics is offering a special ticket package for fans who want to follow the men’s and women’s basketball teams more closely during the America East season.

The Conference Pack offers a general admission ticket to each of the Black Bears’ eight league home games at the Cross Insurance Center. Those tickets are $48 for the women’s games and $42 for the men’s contests.

Tickets may be purchased at the Cross Insurance Center box office (207-561-8333). The women open America East play Jan. 3, 2015, against Albany while the men play their conference home opener against UMass Lowell on Jan. 13.

Pete Warner

Pete graduated from Bangor High School in 1980 and earned a B.S. in Journalism (Advertising) from the University of Maine in 1986. He grew up fishing at his family's camp on Sebago Lake but didn't take...